The Green Girl Witnesses A Running Epiphany

After nearly melting in today's heat, the Green Girl waited until the sun started to go down to go for a run with one of the Sole Runners, Michelle.

We headed down to the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath and headed east.

The hazy sky muted the sunset colors into a beautiful pastel palette.

We passed a handful of beach volleyball courts with games in progress. We saw sailboats and cruise ships.

To the west, we saw a sliver of a crescent moon.

A runner shuffled by and I commented to Michelle that I thought if she ran like that, she could probably go a little faster. We're both back of the packers but she's significantly slower than me so I usually run ahead and then take pictures until she catches up. This arrangement works well for us.

She stopped to observe his technique and then tried to imitate his movements.

She commented that she wasn't used to lifting her knees up so high. I fell in sync with her stride and compared our knee heights. It didn't seem like she was going unusually high to me.

As an experiment, we continued at this pace. All of a sudden, Michelle exclaimed that for the first time in her life, she actually felt like she was running. I looked over at her and quickly realized I'd never seen her look like this before. I blurted out, 'You look like a runner!'

Michelle's running epiphany was our primary source of entertainment and amusement for the remainder of the run.

Before we headed home, I snapped a shot of the Grissom Island off-shore oil rig for my friend, Kitzzy. I always think of her and her boyfriend when I see it because like everyone else who sees it, they couldn't believe it was an oil rig.

Grissom is one of four oil islands named after the first four NASA astronauts to die in the line of duty - Freeman, Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

The artificial islands house oil and gas production equipment. The brightly colored facades designed to disguise the facilities make them look like they could be part of Pleasure Island.


  1. That is awesome that your friend felt like a runner! That's sort of where I am right now. I get out there, I shuffle my legs as fast as I can, I huff and puff until I think I must sound like a train, but I don't quite feel like 'real runner.' I think I finally felt real after I entered a few races last year. Having running clothes and gear helps out too! And again, I am eternally jealous of the places where you get to run. What I wouldn't give to be able to run while looking at the ocean. Sigh.

  2. I know, Heather. I am so happy for her. Something clicked for her last night. One comment she made was that she felt it in her core when she changed how she ran so I guess now she's using different muscles?

    Just keep at it, girl. I know I'm not 'fast' but I've come a long way from my 30 minute miles when I first started. People wouldn't believe it was possible to run a 30 minute mile and I'd invite them to come out with me but no one ever took me up on that offer.

    Even if you don't have the ocean, perhaps you could still seek out new places to run where you are? As you can tell, I love having a change of scenery for my runs so I am always venturing out somewhere new.

  3. Hooray for MichellE!!!! Great suggestion and observation Mary! All while being the great coach Mary that you are, you took breathtaking photos!(I cant for the ones you take in s.f.!) You will be the official album maker! :)

  4. Thank you, Glenn and Rad Runner Girl!

  5. Cool pics. My sister lives a couple blocks from the pier in LB and that island just seems so bizarre unless you live there.

    I can't remember when I first felt like a runner since it's been so long, but what a great feeling to enjoy. I don't think it's the speed, but rather when you start to feel more forward momentum than the up and down jarring of each step. Congrats to your friend.

  6. Thanks, Doug. Yup, it's really hard to believe something that colorful isn't something more fun or playful.

    I agree, I think it's more of a momentum thing.


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